Monday, January 17, 2011

The wonders of the internet

I put up a post nearly a year ago about a memory of a childhood poem -- a memory from when I was in second grade. I re-run that post below and add to it some excellent feedback I got in the comments box of the original post:

When I was a kid -- in grade 2, I think -- I remember the teacher reading out a story about a "Little blue boy". It was a sad story and I cried. I was the only one who did, probably because I was the only one who understood. The teacher was upset that I was upset and that story was never referred to again.

I recollect only the title of the story and none of its content so I wondered if I could find it on the net. Unfortunately that name seems to go with lots of different stories but I think I may have found the one I was looking for. It is apparently an old English Lullaby!

The little toy dog is covered with dust,
But sturdy and staunch he stands;
The little tin soldier is red with rust,
And the musket moulds in his hands.
Time was when the little toy dog was new,
And the soldier was passing fair;
And that was the time when our little Boy Blue
Kissed them and put them there.

“‘Now, don’t you go till I come,’ he said,
‘And don’t you make any noise.’
So toddling off to his trundle-bed
He dreamt of his pretty toys;
And as he was dreaming, an angel song
Awakened our little Boy Blue–
Oh! the years are many, the years are long,
But the little toy friends are true.

“Aye, faithful to little Boy Blue they stand,
Each in the same old place–
Awaiting the touch of a little hand,
The smile of a little face;
And they wonder as waiting the long years through
In the dust of that little chair,
What has become of our little Boy Blue,
Since he kissed them and put them there.”

And below is the comment I got from a lady who obviously had similar feelings to mine:

"My mother used to recite this poem to us when we were children and all of us cried every time. She had learned it as a child to recite on a children’s Saturday morning radio show out of Chicago in the 1920′s. It’s actually a poem written by Eugene Field sometime in the late 1800′s about the death of his young son.

According to the story he and his wife were having dinner with friends when he suddenly left the table, went to his study and wrote this piece then and there. I’m 70 years old now and I still remember every word and I still cry. I’m glad to know it had as much impact on other children decades later".

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